25 Calendar

Photo: Ponyo

Opens May 27, 2017

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs outnumber children currently in Seattle. The familiar presence of these animals is nothing new, though, and they are found throughout Seattle’s history and MOHAI’s collections. It’s Raining Cats and Dogs shows rarely seen objects and images from the museum’s collection and brings Puget Sound history to life through playful—at times surprising—connections.

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MOHAI’s collections and the stories that these objects tell memorialize people’s love of their pets, artifacts that speak to moments in Seattle’s history, as well as show these furry companions as symbols and decorations.

See the changes in Seattle through cats’ and dogs’ stories with artifacts highlighting the shifting roles from workers to fur-children, their portrayal as symbols, as well as a couple “strays,” or objects that do not fit into a theme, are a bit of a mystery, or have never been exhibited before.

Animal Stories



In the early 1900s, dogs were oftentimes used to help around in the workplace. Sometimes dogs would get themselves into seemingly precarious situations, like this coworker sitting in the cut of a tree made by his fellow lumberjacks, ca. 1907.

Photo: William Holmes Wilcox, MOHAI, Seattle Historical Society Collection

Lounging Like a Cat

Cats have long been part of people’s lives in Puget Sound. This 1900 photo shows two young girls with a doll and a contented-looking cat. Aside from the fashion of the time—dresses, leather boots, and ringlets in their hair—not much has changed in the lives of Puget Sound’s cats.

Photo: MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection

Piles of Kittens

After World War II, Seattle’s cat and dog populations rapidly grew, leading to organizations beginning to promote the spaying and neutering of pets. This 1951 shows an adorable pile of cats at a King County Humane Society animal sale. This photo was published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the photographer’s editorial marks for newsprint publication—white and black contrast marks—are still visible.

Photo: John Vallentyne, MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection

Summertime for Furry Friends

Summer time means fewer lonesome family pets! In 1960, school let out on June 10 and the Miller family children raced home from Coe Elementary School in Queen Anne, Seattle, to show their Great Dane, Sheena, their report cards. Sheena definitely approved!

Community Partners

MOHAI is proud to partner with PAWS to develop It’s Raining Cats and Dogs.

PAWS is a champion for animals—rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people. Since 1967, PAWS has united more than 130,000 companion animals with loving families, cared for 115,000 injured and orphaned wild animals, and made the world a better place for countless others through advocacy and education.